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Tuesday 10 May 2016

ℚ♫ The Wages of Sin: Ozarks Mysteries [3] - Nancy Allen

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Wages of Sin (, Witness Impulse, 320 pages), a Legal Crime Thriller, book three of the Ozarks Mysteries series.

The Elsie Arnold series deserves to run and run.”— Alex Marwood, author of The Wicked Girls and The Killer Next Door

Unflinching and gritty.” — Library Journal

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Nancy Allen; thank you for joining us to BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in The Wages of Sin, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"Three songs stand out as my inspiration while writing The Wages of Sin.  I played them over & over, to create the right mood.  They are:
Folsom Prison Blues” - Johnny Cash
Whiskey Lullaby” - Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss
Dueling Banjos” - Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell
I was not familiar with those pieces but I utterly enjoyed them - and here they are!

What was the inspiration for The Wages of Sin?
"My protagonist, Elsie Arnold, is a prosecutor in the Ozarks.  In this book, the third in the series, Elsie confronts a death penalty case.  The crime at the center of The Wages of Sin is horrific—and the murder is one which actually occurs in the heartland.  Elsie is prosecuting a man who beat his eight-months-pregnant girlfriend to death with a baseball bat.

The Ozarks

As a former prosecutor and current member of the Board of The Victim Center in southwest Missouri, I’m painfully aware of violent crime committed against women in my neck of the woods."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I write legal thrillers—courtroom dramas.  Why?  Because I’ve got the chops.  I spent the first five years of my legal career as a felony prosecutor in the Ozarks, putting people away for violent crimes.  After I left the prosecutor’s office, I spent about ten years as Assistant Missouri Attorney General.  I know my way around a courtroom!"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for The Wages of Sin - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"When my editor at HarperCollins/Witness sent covers for my consideration, one of them absolutely knocked me out!  The title of my book is The Wages of Sin—and as you can see, the cover has a sky that looks like an angry god."
Why should we read The Wages of Sin and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your series unique?
"My books have a unique setting: the Ozarks hill country, a place frozen in time.  And my protagonist Elsie Arnold is as fresh as a new batch of moonshine.  She’s so fabulously flawed!  She drinks—cusses—stumbles!  Imagine Amy Schumer if she’d been born in hillbilly country and studied law.  Plus: I’ve been told that the pages really turn!"
Can you tell us something quirky about The Wages of Sin, its story and characters?
"During the writing process, a minor character in The Wages of Sin bloomed and became a centerpiece of the story.

I grew increasingly fascinated with the character of six-year-old Ivy Dent, the sole survivor of the deceased and only witness to the crime.  I love it when a character demands attention in that fashion."
Who would you recommend The Wages of Sin to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"A St. Louis newspaper said that my books are “John Grisham meets Daniel Woodrell.”  So if you enjoy Grisham’s legal thrillers—or ‘hillbilly noir’ like Winter’s Bone —you’ll love my girl Elsie!"
If you could / wished to turn The Wages of Sin and the Ozarks Mysteries series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Billy Wilder directs Jennifer Lawrence (Elsie) & Holly Hunter (Madeleine)!  Yes—I know Billy Wilder is dead.  But Sunset Boulevard was soooooo fabulous."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I write legal thrillers; but I never read them.  I read all other categories of suspense—except cozies.  Cozies are a little too cuddly for me."
What is your writing process?
"I write my books in longhand on a legal pad.  I love seeing the words fly onto the page in ink."
What is in store next?
"I’m beginning to plot and plan my 4th Ozark Mystery, which will be released by HarperCollins/Witness in 2017; but in addition, I’m writing a new legal thriller with James Patterson.  We are co-authoring a book for Mr. Patterson’s new BookShots line, entitled Juror #3."

And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?

"In my family, we have a sweet mutt named George, who loves everyone; and a really hateful cat named Leo, who only loves me.

Family photo with George is below (Leo doesn’t pose for pics).
My kids, Ben & Martha [in the background], don’t like this picture; they say it looks like I prefer the dog to my own children.  That’s ridiculous, of course. (But the dog never complains about anything…)"
LOL What a brilliant picture on so many levels :-)
Hello George!  That's a lovely smile :-)

I have added a couple of pics of  Leo, so that he does not feel left out ;-)

Thank you again for taking the time to be with us today - it's been great! Have a wonderful tour!

The Wages of Sin
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